New alternative energy cars, some seen for the first time and others available to ride and drive for the first time, will be showcased at the Fifth Annual AltCar Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1 and 2 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St.

Presented by the city of Santa Monica, the AltCar Expo brings to the average consumer the newest in “green” fueled transportation, event organizers say. Admission is free and open to the public.

The event features major manufacturers such as the 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF, GM, Honda, Toyota and BMW’s Mini E, as well as alternative companies including CODA, Electric Blue Motors and Wheego at the popular “Ride & Drive” area. In addition, converted cars, electric motorcycles and vintage hybrids will be on hand. The “Ride & Drive” offers an opportunity to test all the alternative technologies.

Top experts in all areas of alternative transportation from cars to bikes, to the Big Blue Bus and Metro will be on hand in demonstration booths, speaking at independent panel discussions and in the parking lot to meet with consumers.

A Focus on Fleets Conference will be held in addition to the open showroom on Friday, Oct. 1, which requires registration and a fee. (To register,

Others attending include the California Fuel Cell Partnership, Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, and Southern California Gas Company.

Among the special guests in attendance will be Mary D. Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resource Board who is the keynote speaker Oct. 2 at 10:15 a.m., and state Sen. Fran Pavley, who will moderate a technology debate at 2:30 p.m.

All visitors are encouraged to touch, feel, sit and drive the vehicles, talk to the manufacturer’s representatives and participate in the many special panels.

Parking at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is $9 in the lot, and street parking is available. There is complimentary valet bicycle parking, as well as public transportation via the Big Blue Bus and Metro.